How to Print From a Chromebook (Step-By-Step Instructions) 

Submitted by Karla Metzler on Wed, 04/03/2024 - 07:02
Person walking into a building while holding a Chromebook

One of the most common laptops for modern-day consumers is the Google Chromebook due to its affordability and simplicity. 

Students and teachers acclaim Chromebooks for their basic functionality, especially in the educational environment. These computers also function as a personal laptop for work or entertainment.     

As a long-time local print vendor, we monitor printing trends and the technology consumers use to print, scan, and copy their documents. 

Since Chromebooks have become a popular option for consumers, we wanted to dive in and answer the most pressing questions surrounding Chromebooks and printing.  

Can you print from a Chromebook? If so, how do you do it? Is it safe to do so?    

In this blog, we will use our industry insight to answer these questions and provide the information you need to start printing from a Chromebook in no time.  

If you want to know everything about Chromebooks and how they differ from other laptops, check out our blog on Everything There Is to Know About Chromebook Printing.

First, let’s start with the question: Can you print from a Chromebook?  

Can You Print From a Chromebook? 

The answer to this fundamental question about printing and Chromebooks is yes. You can both print and scan documents from a Google Chromebook.

Almost every modern computer or laptop can print directly from the device, and Chromebooks are no different. 

As of 2021, Google no longer supports its Google Cloud Print service. The good news is that Chromebook users have other printing options that are just as easy and quick to use.

Despite using a different operating system (ChromeOS), Chromebooks are more than capable of printing.

However, it’s important to note that ChromeOS has some limitations. Not all printer brands are compatible, especially older printer models. For this reason, we recommend you check whether your printer is compatible with your Chromebook.

But how do you print from your Chromebook? Let's explore this with step-by-step instructions.

How do You Connect Your Chromebook to Your Printer?

First, you must ensure that your printer and Chromebook are connected. Depending on whether you have a wired or wireless printer, there are two primary ways to print from a Chromebook: 

  1. Connecting your Chromebook to a printer via a USB cable (wired option)
  2. Connect your Chromebook to a printer via Wi-Fi to allow for remote printing. (wireless option)

Connecting to a Wireless Printer

Before printing to your wireless printer, you must connect your Chromebook to it via Wi-Fi. This process takes a few more steps, but it’s simple. 

Important: Your printer and Chromebook must be connected to the same network. 

To connect your Chromebook to a printer via Wi-Fi, use these steps from Google Support: 

  1. Turn on your printer. 

  1. Connect your printer to a network. If you need help, follow your printer manufacturer’s instructions. 

  1. If you haven’t yet, turn on your Chromebook and sign in. 

  1. Connect your Chromebook to the same network as your printer. Learn how to connect to Wi-Fi

Connect to Your Printer with USB Cable

If your printer doesn’t have wireless capabilities, you can physically connect it with a simple USB cable.

You only need to attach your USB cable to your wired printer and plug the other end into your Chromebook. You should then be able to easily find your printer and add it to your Chromebook from your computer.

Note: If you're using a USB cable, your printer does not need to be connected to Wi-Fi to print.  

How Do You Add/Save a Printer to Your Chromebook? 

Now that your printer and Chromebook are on the same network, the next step to print from your Chromebook is to add the specific printer you want to use.

Remember: Your printer and Chromebook must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

To add a printer to your Chromebook, follow these steps, courtesy of Google Support

  1. At the bottom right, select the time.  

  2. Select Settings 

  3. At the bottom, select Advanced. 

  1. Under "Print and scan," select Printers.  

  2. Under "Available printers to save," next to your printer, select Save. 

  3. Check that your printer appears at the top, under "Saved printers." 

Tip: If your printer doesn’t appear, try turning your Chromebook’s Wi-Fi off and on

Add a Printer Manually

Some older printer brand models are more challenging to connect than others. If your printer doesn’t automatically appear as an option, you can manually add the printer.

1. If you haven't already, connect your printer to the internet.

2. At the bottom right of your Chromebook, select the time.

3. Select Settings .

4. At the bottom, select Advanced.

5. Under "Printing," select Printers.

6. Next to "Add printer," select Add printer .

7. Enter your printer information (Name, Address, Protocol & Queue).

8. Select Add.

How Do You Print From a Chromebook? 

Once you have connected your Chromebook to your wired or wireless printer and added the desired printer, you’re ready to start printing.   

Whether you use a USB cable or Wi-Fi, printing a document from a Chromebook will always be the same. To print from a Google Chromebook, follow these steps from Google Support: 

  1. To print the page, image or document you’re viewing, press Ctrl + p. 

  1. Next to "Destination," select the Down arrow 

  1. Select See more... 

  1. Choose your printer. Tip: Some printers will automatically show up on this list. If you don’t see your printer on the list, you can select Manage. 

  1. Select Print. 

For an interactive tutorial on how to print from a Chromebook, click the image below (courtesy of Google Support):


Tap here to see an interactive tutorial

How Do You Scan a Document From a Chromebook? 

Besides printing, you can also scan a document on a Chromebook. To scan a document on a Chromebook, you will need to make sure the printer you’re using has the Scan-to-Network or Scan-to-Email features set up. 

If the machine you’re using has Scan-to-Network set up, you can simply scan your document directly to your Chromebook. If you want to receive the scan to your email, you can use the Scan-to-Email feature to scan a document and receive it to your desired email address. 

Most major printer brands have the Scan-to-Network or Scan-to-Email address as a feature for consumers.

You can also scan documents with your Chromebook’s camera by following these steps, courtesy of Google Support:  

  1. In the corner of your screen, select Launcher

  1. Open Camera

  1. At the bottom, choose an option: 

  • Select Photo and then Take photo

  • Select Portrait and then Take photo

  • Select Video and then Start recording .  

  • Select Square and then Take photo

  • Select Scan and then Document or QR code and then Scan

Is Printing From a Chromebook Safe? 

We’ve covered all the steps to add and connect a printer to your Chromebook and shown you how to print and scan a document from there. However, is printing from a Chromebook safe? 

In terms of basic printing and scanning, yes, Chromebooks are safe to use because they make use of security features like:

  • Automatic updates to Google Chrome’s Operating System (OS).
  • “Sandboxing” of browser tabs—one tab can’t affect another.
  • Data encryption for sensitive documents.  

However, it is crucial to ensure the printer you’re using is up to date with the latest firmware and security features to avoid any chance of a security breach.  

Printer security has become an increasing concern for consumers as cyberattacks have increased. Printers can serve as an entry point into your network and are generally perceived as harmless, making them attractive to hackers. 

Even if you use a simple at-home printer, it’s crucial to ensure you are not compromising sensitive data by ignoring your printer’s security. 

For more information on printer security and the steps you can take to be proactive about it, read these blogs:  

While Chromebooks can print and scan documents, not all printer features may be available to you, especially if you have an all-in-one printer.

For instance, even if your printer can staple or hole-punch documents, you won't be able to access these features from a Google Chromebook. ChromeOS is not compatible with some of the more advanced features and finishing options that your printer may offer.

For this reason, consider downloading your printer manufacturer’s Android app to get the most out of your specific printer model.

Read our blog on the problems with printing from a Chromebook to learn more about common Chromebook printing issues. 

Which Printer Should You Get for Your Chromebook? 

Chromebooks can print and scan documents effectively. The process is usually straightforward and should not cause you a headache.  

However, besides a computer, you also need a quality printer to print and scan documents whenever necessary. 

Our time in the industry has taught us that having the most suitable printer is paramount, even if it’s just a simple at-home printer.  

There are many types of printers and numerous brands you can choose from. HP, Canon, Xerox (with whom we partner), Ricoh, and Lexmark, among many others, are some of the major manufacturers in the industry.

So, which one is the best? Where should you look if you’re in the market for a printer? 

The choice is yours. If you're looking for a new printer, we suggest you read our blog on the 5 best printers for Chromebooks to learn about your best options.  

Looking for a New Printer?

If you're ready to buy a new printer, we're here to help you make the right choice. Our product configurator makes the decision-making process easier than ever. We understand that with so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to pick the right one.

Our configurator will do all the hard work for you. Simply enter your desired specifications and capabilities, and instantly receive a list of compatible printers. This makes it easy for you to choose the perfect printer that will work seamlessly with your Chromebook.

Don't waste any more time searching for the right printer. Use our product configurator today and start your journey to the ideal Chromebook printing.